Transgender Awareness Week: November 13-19

This week, we’re commemorating Trans Awareness Week, a time to unite and raise awareness around the challenges faced by the trans and nonbinary community.

What is Transgender Awareness Week?

Transgender Awareness Week, typically observed during the week of November 13-19, is a week of collective action to amplify the voices, stories, and experiences of the trans and nonbinary community. Through community education, this week aims to advance advocacy around the issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence that affect the transgender community and advance systemic change. The week leads up to Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors and memorializes victims of anti-transgender violence every year on November 20.

Trans Folks Disproportionately Experience Economic Insecurity

LGBTQIA+ people have a poverty rate of 21.6% (compared to 15.7% among straight people)

  • Trans folks have a poverty rate of 29.4% (almost double cisgender folks)
  • Transgender folks are more than 2x as likely to be living in poverty than the general U.S. population; this increases to more than 3x as likely among trans people of color
  • 29% of trans people were living in poverty at the time of the USTS, compared to 14% of the general U.S. population
  • 38% of Black trans folks are living in poverty.

Collectively, 42% of Black trans folks have experienced homelessness in their lives (compared to 30% of the population overall)

  • 50% of undocumented transgender people have experienced homelessness in their lifetime

Unemployed or underemployed: 44% of working trans people are under-employed; transgender workers are 4x more likely than the general population to have a household income under $10,000

  • Trans people experience 2x higher rates of unemployment (14%) compared to the general population (7%)
  • 15% of trans people were unemployed, compared to 5% of the general U.S. population
  • 16% of trans people reported losing a job in their lifetime because of gender identity/expression; 27% reported being denied a promotion or being hired for a job due to gender identity/expression
  • 20% of Black transgender folks are unemployed

Factors contributing to economic instability among trans folks:

  • Low-wage jobs with limited hours
  • Barriers to getting better jobs
  • High costs of living
  • Debt
  • Housing instability
  • Food insecurity
  • Transportation barriers
  • Employment discrimination
  • Housing discrimination
  • High rates of childhood poverty

What actions can we take?

Educate yourself

Below are several resources and definitions courtesy of GLAAD, an organization that works with and directly advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community:

  • Transgender: an adjective to describe people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. People who are transgender may also use other terms, in addition to transgender, to describe their gender more specifically.
  • Nonbinary: an adjective used by people who experience their gender identity and/or gender expression as falling outside the binary gender categories of “man” and “woman.” Many nonbinary people also call themselves transgender and consider themselves part of the transgender community. Others do not. Nonbinary is an umbrella term that encompasses many different ways to understand one’s gender.
  • Cisgender: a person whose gender identity is aligned with the sex they were assigned at birth.
  • Gender identity: a person’s internal, personal sense of being a certain gender (or sometimes, more than one gender).

For more resources and definitions: Check out this Glossary of Terms, including terms that are acceptable and not acceptable when referring to transgender people.

Know the Resources

Below is a list of local organizations that provide support and resources to the LGBTQIA+ community in the Philadelphia region, including many of our grantee partners*:

Coalition for Black Trans Economic Liberation


Healthy Minds Philly Mental Health Resource List (General and LGBTQIA+ Specific)

Mazzoni Center

Philadelphia FIGHT Resource List

Prevention Meets Fashion*

The Hibiscus Rose Therapy Fund*

Therapy Center of Philadelphia*

William Way’s Arcila-Adams Trans Resource Center


Advocacy in Action

Stay informed about proposed and existing laws, and explore ways you can actively contribute to the fight for justice and equality year-round. Together, we can make a meaningful impact and shape a more inclusive and equitable future for the transgender and non-binary community.

Learn about legislation affecting the Trans community here.


Allies! Pass the Mic

An incredibly important way to stand in solidarity with the trans community is to amplify their voices. Share their stories and actively listen to learn how to best show up as an ally for trans justice and equity!